An attacker who burst into his sleeping ex-girlfriend’s bedroom and caused horrific injuries to her new boyfriend has been jailed for seven years.
Mark O’Hare, 29, punched and bit Nick Roberts when he found him sleeping in bed with Laura Halliday after he barged into her room in the early hours.
The shocking violence, which left the walls of the room covered in blood, caused the couple to fear they would be killed - and left Mr Roberts needing surgery, with his ear hanging off.
Miss Halliday, who was knocked semi-conscious when she stepped in to try and protect her new man, told detectives: “This was the scariest and worst experience of my life.
“It was absolutely terrifying, I thought I might die and he would kill Nick.
“I didn’t know someone could be so evil.”
The man started to bite my ear, I cold feel a loose flap of skin flapping around my left ear.Nick Roberts
Newcastle Crown Court heard O’Hare’s ten year relationship with Miss Halliday had ended last October and he claims he was unaware she had met someone else.
It was around 4.30am on April 6 that Miss Halliday was woken by a loud noise in her bedroom.
Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court: “She woke up to see the defendant standing over the bed. He was screaming at Mr Roberts.
“Mr Roberts was attacked by the defendant, the defendant stood over him and started punching him repeatedly about the head and body.
“Mr Roberts was trying to get away but couldn’t get the defendant off him.
“Miss Halliday tried to intervene, to pull the defendant off Mr Roberts but she couldn’t.
“The defendant flung her against a bedside cabinet, causing her to fall to the ground, banging her head which made her feel woozy and she couldn’t get off the floor.
“She could see the defendant biting Mr Roberts, biting his back and face.
“Mr Roberts was screaming, screaming to get the defendant off.
“She said there was blood all over the bedroom walls.”
Mr Roberts told detectives of the horror at being attacked by a stranger as he lay sleeping.
He said: “The man started to bite my ear, I cold feel a loose flap of skin flapping around my left ear.”
The court heard when O’Hare announced he was going to get a knife and stab the couple, they ran to the front door, where Miss Halliday pushed her boyfriend to safety outside while she remained inside.
She was punched and flung around by her ex before she managed to flee, while O’Hare caused damage to her car outside then ran off.
Mr Roberts had puncture wounds to his scalp, neck and body as well as bruising.
Mr Guiliani added; “His right ear was intact. His left ear was bitten off, part was hanging down, exposing cartilage.”
The court heard Mr Roberts needed extensive treatment including having his ear repaired by plastic surgeons.
Miss Halliday was left bruised and sore.
O’Hare, of Imeary Street, South Shields, admitted wounding with intent, assault and criminal damage.
Mr Recorder John Aitken told him; “You went, in the dead of night, and entered a house you had no right to be in.
“You found your ex partner.
“She was entitled to a new life and Mr Roberts was entitled to go about his entirely lawful, peaceful business in the manner he chose.
“It was a mean, nasty offence which has left a man with injuries which everyone can see just from looking at his face.
“It was a persistent assault.
“This was done to disfigure, to cause lasting harm.”
Peter Schofield, defending, said O’Hare, who is qualified to work off-shore, was “in a bad state” at the time of the attack after losing his relationship and his job.
Mr Schofield said: “When he entered he was not aware she would in fact be with someone.
“He does, through me, offer them both an apology, that is a sincere apology. Reports credit him with a genuine sense of remorse.”